- Katrianna Raunio (class teacher), Marja Salerto (class teacher), Maria Ahlholm (university lecturer)
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Speaking and Participating
What is it all about?
Teachers work regularly with culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. The students may not have a uniform culture background and a shared prior knowledge so the teacher cannot base the instruction on these aspects.
This setting poses challenges both for teaching and learning. As an illustration, many textbooks are based on the idea that the children have a shared experiential world in which new concepts are then “planted.” Many things that seem self-evident, such as seasons (is summer followed by spring or fall?), can be left meaningless for some because they have no personal experience of them.
Therefore, the concepts taught can feel superficial and abstract to the students. Language education can even become mechanical and unconnected in the worst scenarios. This is why we must create completely new premises for teaching.
In multilingual classrooms the learners' mother tongues are present even when the teacher cannot recognize their expressions. This can produce anxiety in the teacher and students. We must create a dialogue and start developing ways to bring good practices from multilingual pedagogy to multilingual classrooms.
This model aims to assist teachers to support multilingualism in the classroom. Another goal is to help teachers support their students building a multilingual identity. The following five steps provide teachers tools to build their own theory-in-use (the terms) and exercises to support multilingualism in the classroom.
Speaking and Participating is a pedagogically well-researched model that helps teachers face an educational challenge that is becoming more common.Impact
Students feel included when they are seen as individuals with distinct backgrounds.Scalability
Schools all around the world have a growing need for this innovation.